Demons and zombies are coming, prepare to be bored
Doom 3 starts out well, I have to say. You just can't help not to notice the technical brilliance such as the millions of little details in graphics, great animation and particularly the impressive audio design. I recommend everyone to play this game alone in a dark room with headphones. The calm, action-free opening reminds me of better games such as Half-Life 2 and Escape from Butcher Bay, and even in the beginning, you still get the feeling that *something* will go down. The game did manage to scare me in some parts and the pacing is somewhat good, with new gameplay elements introduced little by little.
But it's just not worth all the hype. Though it's definitely longer than the average fps, most of it is incredibly repetitive action in narrow, dark corridors. Super-detailed graphics and cool lighting effects aside, the game looks rather bland, even Hell seems like a somewhat boring place to be. Okay, demons, flying skulls, fire, nothing we haven't seen before. The gunplay feels monotonous due to extremely underpowered weapons - there are mods to fix this, but to me, that hardly made the game worth of a replay for me. While monsters in the original Doom swarmed in huge numbers, now they come just a few at a time at maximum.
The original Doom invented the gimmick of turning off the lights while enemies creeped at you. Back then, that freaked me out - now, it frustrates me, as Doom 3's flashlight can't be wielded at the same time as a weapon, leading to many jokes. Fortunately, a mod has been made to fix this, too. Speaking of the horror elements, Doom 3 just overuses its few gimmicks: darkness and monsters jumping at you from closets or appearing behind you. What scared you once will just bore you in the end. Even the creepy voices you hear are just looped and you just eventually phase them out.
The single player experience just didn't seem worth the money, not to mention the effort of getting the game to run back then. Even the final boss fight was lame. The story is just a rehash of the original, and while it's good that they kept the forgettable storyline on the background, the fact that you have to browse through logs and stuff to find out what happened seems old-fashioned. This isn't System Shock, guys.
The Bottom Line
A mediocre shooter that's Doom in name only. id tried to make the original, adrenaline-filled fast-paced shooter into a slower-paced horror game and failed, so the whole thing just ended up dull and monotonous. Good visuals and sounds can't hide the fact that the gameplay blows.